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Your auto insurance policy is yours to keep or yours to cancel. When you’re insured through a company that’s not providing you the customer service or the claims service that you need and expect, it’s time to start shopping elsewhere.
You should never accept poor service when you’re paying a company for coverage.
It’s common for auto insurance consumers to postpone their mission to find a better insurer until their policy is up for renewal so that the policy can just expire.
If your renewal is quickly approaching, this is a viable option, but it’s not an option when you have months left on the contract. Instead, you’ll have to shop the market and set your policy up for an early cancellation. Let’s discuss what you need to do.
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All licensed insurance companies have rules that they must comply with that are set by the state department of insurance.
Even though your paperwork says that your contract doesn’t end until the expiration date, it doesn’t mean that you’re locked into it.
Per the state’s Consumer Bill of Rights, you’re allowed to request that your policy is canceled at any time.
The insurance company can never reject your request to cancel your insurance as long as the date is in the future.
The carrier also can’t make it mandatory that you give the reason why you’re terminating the contract.
When it’s your primary goal to save money, you better be sure that you check and see if you’ll be charged a cancellation fee before you buy a policy with a new company.
Sometimes, the amount that you save will be eaten up by the fee you’re being charged for an early cancellation.
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Any fee that you’re charged a fee to end the policy early it’ll be classified as a short-rate fee.
Instead of getting your pro-rated refund back, you’ll get a lesser amount because the fee will be subtracted from what you’re owed.
Not all companies charge short-rate fees. Those that do will either charge you a fixed fee or a percentage of the premiums that you have yet to pay.
If there’s a balance of $500 due on your contract and the fee is 10 percent of the unearned premiums, this means you’ll be charged a fee of $50 when the cancellation is processed.
Don’t just make an emotional decision to cancel your policy after your claim is denied or you’re offered less than you feel you deserve.
If you cancel the policy in haste, you could wind up being fined by the state for failing to carry the insurance that you’re required to carry.
Since you have to have mandatory insurance coverage when you have a vehicle registered in your name, you should have another policy in place before you even start to draft a written cancellation request.
Here are the steps that you should take to avoid running into issues after you cancel your policy:
It’d be easy if you could pick up the phone, call the toll-free number on your ID cards, and cancel the coverage by phone. With some carriers, this is a possibility but not with many of them.
It’s pretty standard practice for insurance carriers to require your cancellation request in writing.
It might feel like the requirement is only in place to inconvenience you, but that’s not really the case.
Requiring you to submit a request in writing protects the insurer if you allege that you never canceled the policy and then try to submit a claim.
By keeping your signed request in writing, they can use it during arbitration if it ever gets to that point.
You’ll have to cancel your insurance as of today’s date or a future date if you don’t have any other coverage.
If you have proof that you bought insurance on the car or you sold the car on a prior date, you may need to provide the declarations page or the bill of sale to backdate your cancellation and get a pro-rated refund.
Now that you know the steps that you must take to cancel your insurance, the next step you need to take is to write your request.
It shouldn’t take you too long to get it all drafted up and ready to give to your agent.
Here’s what it should include:
It’s best to do everything right so that your cancellation is processed immediately.
If you haven’t yet taken the steps to find coverage with a different carrier, now is the time to start. Get online quotes and see just how much switching your insurance will save you in the end.
If you’re looking to save some money by comparing auto insurance rates, start comparison shopping today by entering your ZIP code below!
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